“Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?”
Read: 16th June 2017
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 22 seconds. Contains 476 words.
My Rating: 4 Stars
I can’t understand Bukowski, not even slightly relatable. I find him disgusting and even after that I like reading him, I mean his books. And when I need some push to work my way through then it is his poem that helps me, Roll the dice. “If you are going to try, go all the way.”(I literally have the whole narration saved in my mobile.)
This is Charles Bukowski’s first book, published in 1971. It’s a story of a man named Henry Chinaski “Hank”, Bukowski’s literary alter ego.
To start with, I found this book quite funny, it has funny moments and very crude at times. His writing is not tender and he certainly doesn’t talk much about feelings.
The main character is not very aspirational and keeps losing everything and most of it because of his own faults. He is alcoholic, a womanizer, screw all the time. He is seriously all about booze, women, and sex. I find him dark and depressive though sometimes funny, most of the time disgusting.
I don’t really recommend his books to anyone because what should I even say, Oh! do you want to read a book by someone who speaks dirty, use condescending language to portray female characters, a misogynist, and takes self-deprecation to a new height, or I would say do you want to read a book by someone who’s writing can be ugly, offensive and violent but truthful, who is hostile towards women but that is not it, he is actually hostile toward humankind.
So would you like to read it? It’s good(But if you can’t take offense don’t blame me.)
Now coming to the good part, even though the character is an alcoholic he is not totally doomed, deep down he knows that he can’t just die homeless as an alcoholic, so he does work even though the work sucks, he did survive, poorly but still.
“the first place smelled like work, so I took the second.”
He does love his dog and shows kindness to an alcoholic ex-lover. He is not all bad but he’s not good either, never felt sorry for this guy.
The character hates bureaucracy and he has to deal with it throughout the book while he works at the Post office and he finds it stupid and pointless.
I skipped the part with betting on horses, I can’t read anything related to fishing and betting on horses, I do the same thing with Hemingway, I can’t stand it. They write about it, I don’t read it. I skip it and I just assume that they just talked about betting and then losing and winning money.
I like this book and I gave this 4 stars also because of my personal bias towards this guy. I recommend it because everyone should read some Bukowski in their lifetime. I like his poems and short stories more than his novels, seriously. Poems are really good.